Patricia Seybold Group / Case StudyDeveloping Change Agents to Spawn GrassRoots Innovation and Transformation in AfricaLessons Learned from Rural Africa Could Apply to Your Organization!By Patricia B. Seybold, CEO and Senior Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group April 9, 2009NETTING IT OUT Take-Aways for Fostering Innovation and Replicating the Innovation ProcessThe Uganda Rural Development and TrainingProgramme (URDT) has become a hotbed of Here are the take-aways from URDT’s proveninnovative practices in integrated rural devel- approach to grass roots innovation which hasopment. In this report, we focus on the innova- been successful in rural Uganda for over 20tions that URDT has created and the unique years:innovation transfer process that they are cur-rently piloting through the training and deploy- Build a Culture of Customer-Led Innovationment of committed young women as changeagents in rural communities. • Promote a creative orientation (within and outside your organization).Many other development efforts have failed tocreate long-lasting results because too often • Instill multi-disciplinary, holistic systemsany progress made by an individual is cut short thinking as a cultural normby the weakest link in that person’s life. For ex-ample, a child might successfully enroll in • Engage community members and stake-school, but then die of malaria. Or a woman holders in co-designmight learn how to start a small business, butthen be prevented by her husband from doing How to Replicate Your Innovation Engineso. • Attract and train visionary change agents.URDT provides an integrated approach basedon the concept that to achieve lasting develop- • Ground them in creative orientation, vision-ment, people must become empowered in all ary leadership, customer co-design, cross-areas of their lives, including education, health, disciplinary systems thinking, and practicaleconomic self-reliance, human rights, and civic skills.participation. Since its inception, URDT hashelped thousands of people improve their lives • Send them out to seed and nurture innova-and has received accolades from international tion by working with customers in the field;organizations for its innovative approaches. Let them learn by doing, failing, and learn- ing from their mistakes. Provide coachingURDT’s training of local people, especially and celebrate successes.women, to become leaders and creators, ischanging the way rural communities work. • Network your change agents together andMight similar practices work to spark customer- to the “mother ship” to share learnings andled innovation among your stakeholders? innovations from the field. Direct link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1571/cs04-09-09cc Customer Scenario and Customers.com are registered trademarks and Customer Flight Deck and Quality of Customer Experience (QCE) are service marks of the Patricia Seybold Group Inc. • P.O. Box 290565, Boston, MA 02129 USA • www.customers.com • Unauthorized redistribution of this report is a violation of copyright law.